Friday, February 17, 2012

Thought Of The Day: Fuji X-Pro1

I've talked about some excellent cameras that will be on the market soon.

The Canon G1-X will provide direct competition to the popular Fuji X100, but for $400 less. Look for Fuji to slowly lower the price of the X100 over the coming months, maybe by as much as $200. The Sony NEX-7 has 24 megapixels on an APS-C sized sensor, giving it as much resolution as cameras over twice it's price and size. The Nikon D800 is a camera that will change the game by having 36 megapixels on a full-frame sensor for only $3,000. Before, that much resolution would cost you ten grand or more. And let's not overlook Sigma's huge price reduction of the unique SD1.

It's an exciting time to be in the market for a new digital camera.

One camera that I've failed to mention is the Fuji X-Pro1, which has 16.3 megapixels on an APS-C sized sensor, for about $1,700.

What's unique about the X-Pro1 is that it uses a new type of sensor that is immune to color moire, meaning it does not require an anti-aliasing filter. An anti-aliasing filter blurs certain aspects of an image so that there is not moire (a weird effect in repeated patterns that you do not want in your photographs), and almost every digital camera has one of these filters. The SD1 is an exception (it also has a unique sensor that does not require one), the D800E and all Leica digital cameras are also exceptions (although these cameras are susceptible to moire).

By not having the anti-aliasing filter, the camera can produce sharper images. Aside from the SD1 and now the X-Pro1, it was always a risk/reward by not having the filter. Yes, you get sharper images, but you might have annoying moire in your photographs. But since the SD1 and the X-Pro1 use unique sensors that are immune from moire, the filter is completely unnecessary.

Like the SD1, who's unique 15.4 megapixel sensor has an equivalent resolution of 46 megapixels (compared to the standard type of sensor), the X-Pro1's unique 16.3 megapixel sensor has an equivalent resolution of 20 megapixels (at least that's what Fuji has said, not sure if anyone has tested this to be sure).

The $7,000 (body only) Leica M9 has 18 megapixels on a full-frame sensor. The Fuji X-Pro1's 20 megapixel (equivalent) on an APS-C sized sensor isn't that far off--not far enough that it should concern most photographers. Neither has an anti-aliasing filter, so both will have exceptionally sharp images. The M9 is subject to moire, while the X-Pro1 is not. Really, it's $7,000 compared to $1,700. If I were considering the M9, I would want to give the X-Pro1 a long look.

The X-Pro1 will also be an option for those considering the Sony NEX-7. The NEX-7 has more resolution (24 megapixels compared to an equivalent 20 megapixels), but the X-Pro1 will produce sharper images. Less resolution, sharper images, and $350 more, or more resolution, less sharp images and $350 less? It's a toss up, so you'll have to decide for yourself.

It's a very interesting time, for sure.

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